Preparing for Your 1L Summer Position

GUEST BLOG Stephanie Baldwin, 1L at the University of Arizona

We are in the last week of class, still need to work on outlines, take practice exams, and make sure everything is lined up for our summer positions. Whew… We can do this! While the summer job, still feels far off there are some things you can do now to help make sure everything is in line so you can start your 1L summer job with ease.

Complete Any Required Paperwork

This summer, I am working for a government agency, but they do not require the same level of background checks that my fellow classmates are enduring, so they have been very accommodating with my paperwork. Even though I have had had the position since March, they just reached out this week with all the forms I need and said to not worry about it all till after finals. All they wanted from me was to provide a start date and possible end date. I have been fortunate. A few of my fellow 1Ls are still trying to get everything figured out with their future employers before it becomes a distraction during finals. My advice is, if you haven’t heard from them yet, check in and make sure you know all of the requirements you have to meet or can meet those deadlines after finals.

1L Summer

Confirm Your Start Date

Most employers seem to be flexible, so do not over commit yourself to a tight start date deadline. Do not forget that we need to plan for finals, moving (in some cases), the write-on competition for law review and maybe a short vacation before starting our summer positions. You might also need a little bit of extra time if you are working an unpaid job and need to find a part-time position, so you have income over the summer, or if you are taking summer school classes. Be realistic, and set your start date accordingly. Also, if you need any time off during the summer, be sure to discuss that before starting.

Confirm the Dress Code

You do not want to show up every day in business suits if you are working in a casual work environment. You’ll make other people uncomfortable, and you might feel out of place. Likewise, you don’t want to be unprepared and wear the same suit every day because you don’t have the right wardrobe. See if you can visit the office before your start date so that you can get a good feel for the environment, and go shopping as needed.

Get Your LinkedIn in Order

Yes, you did this while you were applying for positions, but it’s time to add your first 1L summer job, and perhaps update your intro! We are about to be “rising 2Ls”. You will likely be networking a lot this summer and connecting on LinkedIn is an easy way to make these connections. After a brief talk, ask if you can add them on LinkedIn and then you can send them a quick thank you.

Talk to the 2/3Ls

I am going to Phoenix for my internship, as that is where I want to practice once I graduate. I discovered that a 2L worked at this office last summer and I asked her for details like the culture, dress code and asked her for recommendations about things I could do to the make the most of my summer experience. She was so helpful and provided me with a lot of useful information. Because of her advice, I feel even more confident in starting my position this summer. If there isn’t a person at your school, you can use LinkedIn to find people that had the role previously. Reach out and make a connection!

What other suggestions do you have for someone preparing to start their first legal internship? Let me know over at the @The1LLife on Twitter and Instagram!